BROOKINGS — To help beef producers meet Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification expectations, SDSU Extension will host an in-person BQA certification course on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 2-4 p.m. in the Technology Center Amphitheater at Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) in Mitchell. SDSU Extension has collaborated with MTI’s animal science program to offer BQA certification to their students, also offered to the public this year.
Beef processors require producers to be BQA certified before they purchase cattle. This expectation has been in place for major beef packers since Jan. 1, 2019. Auction barns may ask sellers to provide their BQA certification with cattle so that buyers are aware of it during a sale, as many buyers may not bid on cattle that do not come from BQA certified producers.
“Providing BQA certification to the students is important,” said Dr. Lori Repenning, MTI professor and veterinarian. “Students need to learn how to manage the beef industry’s expectations to stay successful and competitive cattlemen. The BQA program helps them to be ready.”
“Consumers care about how their food is raised and this impacts their purchasing decisions,” said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist and South Dakota BQA Coordinator. “Because of this, restaurants and food retailers desire to show their commitment to sourcing the highest quality beef from humanely raised animals. The BQA program meets these expectations, provides confidence to consumers, and gives producers the tools to fine tune their management practices.”
Producers can register to attend the course for a fee at https://extension.sdstate.edu/events or complete the BQA certification curriculum free of cost at their convenience online at www.bqa.org. For more information, contact Heidi Carroll at 605-688-6623 or Heidi.Carroll@sdstate.edu.
Directions from I-90: Take I-90 Exit 332 and turn left (south). Go under the 1-90 overpass to the second set of stoplights. Turn left (east) on Spruce Street. Go over a set of railroad tracks. The Technology Center will be the first driveway on your left (north) after the tracks.
The address for this event is 1800 E Spruce St. Mitchell, SD 57301.